Industry Report

E-commerce South Africa – between challenge and opportunity

E-commerce in South Africa is here to stay – this obvious trend has already been observed prior to the global health crisis. Our report features an overview of retail e-commerce, the digital buyer and market potential —as well as tangible insights how to enter the South African Market as a Swiss SME with its risks and opportunities.

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Selling online into the South African market is not without challenges and some of them are borne from reasons heavily influenced by the local context and culture. Overcoming those challenges means to learn and understand the Rainbow Nation, an essential step to increasing the odds for a successful entry into the South African e-commerce market.

An introduction to the South African e-commerce market

The landscape of online retail stores, platforms and a mall is not much different from European countries although by far not as well developed. The absence of mega-players such as Alibaba, Amazon and eBay have created room for innovation and coined a uniquely diverse landscape of online retail opportunities. As diverse as the landscape is the size and the approach of the various online stores. The demand for online products spreads through all areas, all ethnic groups, all age groups and income levels.

The key to success is information and expert advice as well as strategic partnership, active networking and a full understanding of the opportunities as well as the shortcomings of the African Internet availability and the shopping online from any kind of mobile device, PC, Mac or terminal.

Industry report provided by the Swiss Business Southern Africa together with its partners

The industry report, which can be downloaded below, highlights risks and opportunities, challenges and possible solutions within the African context.

In detail the following topics are covered:

  • Introduction South Africa: exonomy, trade, ease of doing business, etc.
  • Overview of the South African e-commerce market
  • Regulatory overview: e-commerce, import regulations, payment solutions
  • Trade challenge: legal licensing departments
  • Competition and market players
  • Risks and opportunities
  • Recommendations and contacts



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